It was 1972 when US President Joe Biden was first elected to the Senate.
At 29, he took on veteran politician J. Caleb Boggs and, against all odds, won by just 3,162 votes.
"I can remember the thought as if it was yesterday," campaign staffer Ted Kaufman told NPR in 2007. "'I will never again think of something as impossible.'"
But Biden's joy was short-lived.
On December 18 that year, his wife, Neila, and their one-year-old daughter, Naomi "Amy" Christina, were killed in a car crash on the way home from Christmas shopping. The couple's sons, Beau and Hunter, survived.
Watch: Joe Biden recalls the phone call he received when he was told his wife and daughter were dead. Post continues below.
Writing about the accident in his 2007 memoir, Promises to Keep, Biden shared, "Well, I didn't want to hear anything about a merciful God. No words, no prayer, no sermon gave me ease. I felt God had played a horrible trick on me, and I was angry."
He wanted to resign from his position but was convinced to stay and was sworn in less than a month later at his sons' hospital bedside.
For years, Biden travelled over an hour to Washington D.C. each day so that he could continue raising the boys at the family home in the state of Delaware.
Then, three years later, the newly solo parent met his now-wife, Jill, on a blind date organised by his brother.